App State students Hannah Bean, Winn Williams and Heather Inman discuss their time in Appalachian's residence halls and share helpful information for incoming residents.
Winn: Hello, everyone. My name is Winn Williams. I am a junior History and Social Studies Secondary Ed major from Morganton. I am a first-year SOUL and a second-year RA, as well as a former Hall Council president.
Hannah: Hey, y'all. My name is Hannah. I'm a senior Social Work major. I'm from High Point, North Carolina, and I'm a second-year SOUL.
Heather: What's up? I'm Heather. I'm actually a junior English Secondary Education major as well. Go, Ed majors. Love them. I am from Gastonia, North Carolina. It's a little bit outside of Charlotte, and I am a second-year SOUL as well.
Winn: Welcome to the AppX podcast. We are your hosts for today. We're going to be talking about housing, what it's like to live in a residence hall, some struggles you might have, some things you might really enjoy, and really what that App experience is like for you, incoming transfer students, high school students, or prospective students. Real quick, there are a lot of different residence halls on campus. Some of them are traditional suite style, as well as apartment and hotel, but we're mainly going to focus on the traditional style for you guys, because that's what you'll most likely end up in. Heather?
Winn: What hall were you in your first year at App?
Heather: On campus, I lived in Hoey Hall. I lived on the third floor. So, shout out to them if they are listening to this. I actually had a fantastic time living on the third floor. It was coed, so it was half guys on one side and half females on the other as well, so we did learn to live in a coed environment, but it as a lot of fun, so yeah.
Winn: What about you, Hannah?
Hannah: So, I lived in Cannon, second floor. Woop, woop. I was also on a coed floor. Yeah.
Winn: I ended up in the LLC, the Living Learning Center on West side. That's a suite style, so we had our own bathroom. It was a lot of fun, but I feel like I missed out some on those traditional hall experiences, like having that common room where everyone would hang out.
Heather: Yeah, because each floor, especially with Hoey and Cannon that Hannah and I mentioned, has a lobby in the center of each floor that you have. So, that did allow a lot of those connections to be made in order to, you know, walking in you didn't know anyone, so then this was an able way to get to know everyone and hang out there. So, I can see how that would be a bit difficult as well.
Hannah: Yeah. Do you have any like experiences of like maybe some hall fun activities, common room, that you guys did?
Winn: Oh, I-
Heather: (Laughing) Well-
Winn: I ... It wasn't like a common room thing, but I remember my first year, we went to Goodwill, as a lot of students do, and we bought a bowling ball. And, so we thought it was a good idea to let that thing loose down the hallway. And it definitely wasn't. We got picked up by the RA immediately because the people on the floor below really complained about it. So, we ended up taking it outside, got a lot of plastic bottles, and it turned into like a whole hall event where people would bring their recyclables, make like a big bowling alley outside of the building-
Heather: In the ... Oh, wow (laughing) ...
Winn: Yeah. In the courtyard, we would make a bowling alley out of people's plastic bottles that they'd bring by and use that really beat up old bowling ball. So, hall shenanigans that got us in trouble at first turned into an event that really was fun. So ...
Hannah: Okay, RA, are we supposed to bring our bowling balls?
Winn: I mean, there is High Country Lanes off campus if you want to bowl, and it is offered as a P.E., but I wouldn't suggest doing it in the residence halls.
Heather: That was something that I really noticed when I came in as a freshman. I was super, super nervous coming up on move-in day, like moving into the residence hall. And I was like, "I don't know a single person. None of my best friends are up here with me. I don't really know my roommate. I'm living with a complete stranger." But it was just really cool. Like the lobby does such a great job at least. And then your RA does have a lot of effect on that too, like making floor events, like encouraging people to come out. But it really did surprise me. People would just be sitting out there, and then just so many other people would come out and just hang out, and again that allows those shenanigans to happen and those bonds to form because then it's super cool at the end of this to realize you have friends, even your best friends, living like right beside you or like right down the hall. That was just super cool to eventually see the progress after being super nervous but then also gaining best friends who I am still super close with today. Yeah.
Winn: So, you said you had a random roommate.
Heather: I did.
Winn: What was that like?
Heather: Yeah. Well, I sort of knew who she was from ... My younger sister actually knew who she was, but I had like no contact with her. I didn't really know who she was. So, our parents set us up through that with our younger siblings knowing each other. And so, we were like, "Okay, we'll be roommates. Sure." So, I didn't really know her. So, it was random walking in, and I was super nervous because I hadn't really, obviously, lived with someone else that I didn't really know. So, it was definitely a challenge at first.
Heather: But is was so surprising how well we connected, and we didn't have anything in common, which was really interesting. A lot of people say they want to be roommates with someone that is just like them, like exactly the same. If you looked at her and I, we absolutely nothing alike, like at all. But it was super cool to see the friendship ... I mean honestly hands down, is like one of my best friends now. Just to see how far that's come because of course there's definitely challenges with living with somebody you didn't know, but obviously working around that, adapting, learning one another's styles and how you're living together was just super cool, and just, she ended up being such a blessing, honestly in my first freshman year. So ...
Winn: I also came in with a roommate that I didn't know. His name was Omni. But we ended up being in the same residential learning community, which is a program that you can sign up for on an interest that you have or a major that you have. I joined the A.C.E.S. RLC for future educators. So, I ended up being paired with another education major. So, we had some things in common, but we had never met before. We had never ... we messaged each other on Facebook, but that was about it.
Winn: So, we followed each other on social. The first time we ever met was walking into that building. He too is like one of my best friends to this day. We didn't get along on everything. I joined a fraternity my first year on campus. He was dating someone from back home. So, we didn't spend all of our time together, but we spent enough time together, ended up living together our second year on campus as well, and he's really formed into probably one of my best friends even though we weren't always at each other's hip during that first year. What about you, Hannah?
Hannah: Oh, god. So, I kind of have a similar situation. I didn't know my freshman roommate. We met on the Facebook page. But my roommate was from Ohio. So, she was an out-of-state student. And I struggled my freshman year being an only child and coming into a room that was very, very small and having to learn to just to adapt to it, like a new lifestyle. And you know, my roommate is so great. My roommate was great, and to this day we're really good friends, but it definitely was a big adjustment for me having someone who didn't go home a lot, me being close enough to go home whenever I needed to. But I love her. She's one of my best friends now, but it was a big adjustment for me coming in with someone out of state and being an only child and having to learn to adjust to that. So, yeah.
Winn: For students that have that same only child experience, what tips and tricks would you give incoming students that might have those same difficulties that you did?
Hannah: Huh. I think my biggest piece of advice would to just learn patience, learn that sharing is the best thing that you can do, learn how to adapt to being in such a small space with someone else. Coming from an only child who'd never had to share spaces with anyone, I would also say just to use it as a learning experience. After my freshman year, I ended up getting an apartment with four other people, and so I think if I wouldn't have done that my freshman year, I wouldn't have learned how to live with other people, if that makes sense. So, it was so good for me, and it's such a good learning curve in your life to learn how to share such a small space with someone that you're not used to growing up. And so, yeah.
Heather: Yeah. Even if you're coming in. I mean I came in, and I have three siblings. And so I feel like that even still is relevant for other students that are going to be coming in. Because you're still living in such, I mean, close quarters with other people with your roommate and not only like everyone else that is on your floor. I mean it's just a realistic thing if you look at it in that way. There's going to be things that are going to try your patience. There's going to be challenges that you're going to have to, you know, handle maturely and responsibly. But to me at least, this experience, living in a residence hall, is something that is going to show so much growth in a person but is also such an experience that you don't want to miss out on. Living in that residential community is really, really special. So ...
Hannah: I also would say communication is key-
Hannah: ... to talk about you know ... If you like really need that time to yourself, and you really need to just have some alone time and just ... As an only child I was like, “Man, I'm used to my alone time.” And I'm like, “Come on, girl. I need you to just give me a night to myself, just let me revamp a little bit.” But just open communication about everything that you do in your residence hall is the best that you can do.
Heather: That's good advice.
Winn: That's very legitimate. That's great.
Hannah: Yeah. Yeah, yeah.
Winn: Another good thing is, off the bat, lay some ground rules.
Winn: At the beginning of your time at App [crosstalk 00:09:43]
Hannah: It's like a resident contract.
Winn: There is a housing contract, and then there is also a roommate agreement. The roommate agreement is something that your RA will give you, your resident assistant will give you your first year at App, when you first come in, at you're opening hall meeting. And what that basically is is a document that really lays out different ways that you can share your space, that you can communicate with each other, how you can spend time together, and that way lays those ground rules of, "Oh, do we really want to share our silverware? Or do we want to have two separate bins, one for mine, one for yours?"
Winn: It really establishes those boundaries early and allows for those conflicts to either be fleshed out before they happen or when a conflict does arise, then you can look back at it and see, “Hey, this is what we agreed upon. Do we want to continue doing that? Or do we want to amend that?” And also it's a shared experience. The issues that you're having? Someone else on your hall is probably having those same problems. You're going to be able to find someone in your community to talk to about it. And if there are issues, that's why there's a residence assistant on every floor. They're trained in that conflict mediation. They're trained in how to handle those situations fairly and decisively so you can go visit them at any point for advice or whatever you really need. What was your relationship with your RA your first year at App?
Hannah: My RA, he wasn't seen a lot in my residence hall, which is ... You know, you guys talked about how you would hang out in your lobby a lot with your hall, and you know have those bonding experience. I didn't have that very often in Cannon, just it was mainly my fault. I jumped in really early getting involved in a lot of different things. And so when I wasn't in class, I was probably at like a club meeting or meeting with my sorority or something like that. And so I didn't spend a lot of time in my residence hall. I joke around now that we did superlatives for my hall at the end of the year, and mine was Most Likely to Never Be Seen in Her Residence Hall (laughing).
Hannah: Because I wasn't there very often. And so I didn't see my RA much, but partially it was just my fault. He just wasn't around much, I wasn't around much. So, that would be me. Be mine.
Heather: Yeah. Mine was very similar. My RA, she did work a lot. And that ... I think that's also where you have to take into account that they're a student as well on campus. They're not just some overbearing authority figure that's just on the floor.
Heather: They are a student as well, obviously, and they're doing that as their other job. So, mine was there, but she was also very communicative and open to the group as well. We did have lots of floor meetings and meetings together, and her like communicating to the group either the rules of the floor or just like hang out with us, and she did put effort to get to know one of us, which I really enjoyed and I really liked. She went out of her way again to put door decs on all of our doors, and just make us all feel comfortable and kind of really welcomed on the hall. So, I feel like that atmosphere that she created really helped all of us to get to know each other as well as get to know her. So ...
Winn: My first year, my RA was ever present. She was always in the lobby doing homework, hanging out with students, had a movie on every other week. That was just her thing. She would always have cookies out, say like, "Bring your own mug, bring your own milk. I'll give you the cookies.
Hannah: Love that.
Heather: So, a lot of you guys coming in ... As orientation leaders, a lot of the questions that we get is you know, “What is in my room? What is there? Like obviously a bed? Is there a table or chairs, or anything like that? What do I need to bring in order to be prepared?” So, I think we're going to go a bit over a little of those questions in order to kind of give an example of what an App State residence hall entails.
Winn: Just to let you guys know, if there are any things that we didn't touch on, you can visit housing.appstate.edu for a full list of amenities and things you should and shouldn't bring to your residence halls and place of living. So, if we don't touch on everything, make sure to check that out. And that's housing.appstate.edu. But some of the things that are provided, please correct me if I'm wrong, but each hall does have a bed, a closet hang-up space, whether it be a closet or a wardrobe, a drawer space, and a desk.
Heather: Yes. And inside the closet, there's a mirror actually on the backside of your guys' closets. So, you don't have to bring a full-length mirror. It is a full-length mirror, so just to help you guys out. I ended up bringing on and didn't even need it.
Hannah: Yeah, I know that I can speak for Heather and I. We did not have a microwave and a fridge in our room. So, that's a conversation if your residence hall does not have one provided, you need to talk to your roommate, see if you guys want to bring one of those. A rug, that was something that we brought that was a saving grace.
Heather: It really ties it together.
Hannah: It really does.
Heather: Instead of just hitting that cold tile floor in the morning when you hop off your bed. That rug really feels good.
Hannah: Yeah. You know, and one other thing. Make sure you make it feel like home because it is your home. And so don't bring too much, but bring enough that it makes the space feel like home. I know something that I brought too much of was clothes. I brought way too many clothes.
Heather: I can second that as well.
Hannah: Yeah. You're going to class everyday in shorts and a t-shirt. You need a couple nice outfits, but you know. Really think about what you're going to wear everyday so you don't overload your closets. But, yeah. What about you, Heather?
Heather: One of the greatest things I will definitely advocate for, push, is to buy those big plastic bins at Wal-Mart.
Hannah: Oh yes, girl.
Heather: And put them underneath your bed or on top of your closet just so you can have a storage space. You are getting that storage space within the drawer that you guys are going to get and the closet, but you have to be reasonable. They are kind of small as well. So, well especially what I did with the rest of my clothes that I managed to keep or anything storage-wise that I need to put away, like winter coats when it got warmer or putting away summer clothes when it was winter, stuff like that. It was having big storage bins and putting them underneath your bed out of the way because then the room doesn't feel as claustrophobic. For me and my roommate it really helped us to open up the middle area. So when people are hanging out in there or whatever, there's more room. So ...
Winn: Going back to what you said on the microwave and the fridge. The way that that works is there's heating in every building, but not all of them have air conditioning. Buildings that do not have air provide a micro-fridge and a microwave for you to use. If you don't want to purchase one of those, you can rent them to the university for a fee each year. That's a discussion that you want to have with your roommate. And you can check which buildings do and don't have those amenities, as far as a micro-fridge and a microwave, on the housing website. Another thing that you really need to bring are shower caddies. If you live in a hall that has a hall style bathroom where it's out in the middle, you need something to carry your shampoo, your wash, your soap, all of that stuff to and from the bathroom. Shower caddies are essential.
Hannah: Hey, what is one thing you guys wish you would have brought?
Winn: A lamp. Oh my goodness, a lamp.
Heather: You didn't bring a lamp?
Hannah: Come on.
Winn: I ... Okay, yes, I'll admit I did not-
Hannah: There is not a lamp in your room, so you want a lamp. There is a light, but-
Heather: No lamp.
Hannah: No lamp.
Winn: The lamp is nice because that overhead light can be a little bright, especially at eleven 'o' clock or later. So, lamps also provide that nice, soft light. No, I did not bring one. Also, talking about things to bring to the residence halls, a great thing is The Big Sale that happens at the beginning of the year during Welcome Weekend.
Heather: Through Appalachian and the community together.
Winn: Or the ACT office. It's in the Legends each year. Legends is a small venue on the East side of campus by Hoey Hall, and they open it up each year. They take items that were donated by previous students that didn't want those items anymore either because they were moving off campus or graduating. And it's stuff like futons, mini-fridges, those shower caddies, carpets, throw pillows, extra clothes they no longer wanted, anything imaginable under the sun. So, if you end up moving into your hall and realized, “Oh no! I didn't buy this,” or “I wish I had bought that,” you can buy those things at the big sale. And yes, I did buy a lamp at the big sale. So, check that out.
Heather: Yeah. That's definitely a good resource coming in. And again, it is at a discounted price that gets to go to charities here that we have here in Boone. Definitely go there and check them out as well. For me, for bringing something definitely was the rug. I know we kind of already mentioned that, but I'd also like to plug the tapestries or like a flag. Because you know, the walls are just like a white color. They're just kind of not really anything special. So, putting those decorations up really .... Again, it is your home for the next year that you're, or however long that you're spending time in residence hall. So, when ... You look like you want to say something.
Winn: Hey, Hannah, when you're hanging up those tapestries, or flags, or pictures of your family, should you use nails? Or should you use Command hooks?
Hannah: You should definitely use Command hooks (in unison with Heather). That was going to be my thing that I wished I would have brought more of. They're so versatile.
Winn: Command hooks and strips are really essential to hang up anything on your walls because if you put nail holes in your wall or you cause damages, those get charged to your student account at the end of the year when you get checked out of your building. So, make sure when you come in at the beginning of the year to bring those Command hooks and those Command strips. When checking people out this year from their residence halls, someone all over the wall had littered it with nails to hang up their family photos, and it ended up being like a hundred dollars of damages because of how many things they had put on those walls and hadn't used Command hooks. So, make sure you bring those bad boys with you to college.
Heather: That's a good tip. Good job.
Hannah: Good idea. Yeah.
Heather: I think another thing also to touch on as well is the bed specifically that you're getting. In all of our residence halls, correct me if I'm wrong, are going to be Twin XL. So, when you're coming here and you're deciding what bed sheets to bring, make sure they're going to be Twin XL because that way it's going to fit the entire bed and cover the whole thing. Again, we just offer that just because it's the better option, I believe, for a majority of students that it fits well. I mean it was great for me. So, Twin XL, definitely do that. Don't come and bring like just a twin. It won't fit.
Winn: If you're a firm mattress person, these beds work great for you. If you're kind of a soft mattress person, then I would suggest buying mattress topper.
Hannah: Yeah. That's what I had. Yeah.
Winn: If you're spending the night for your two-day orientation, wait until after that so you can test out what that bed's like. And if you aren't happy with it, you can buy a mattress topper for like fifteen, thirty dollars on Amazon, at Kohl's, JC Penney, Bed Bath and Beyond, any of those home stores have mattress toppers at them. So, there's a lot of things that you should bring, but there are a lot of things that you shouldn't bring like salt rock lamps and lava lamps.
Heather: I would say candles too. I know a lot of people-
Hannah: Oh, yeah.
Heather: ... love their candles, and I definitely ... Me and my roommate absolutely loved ... We wanted a candle so bad. We didn't have a candle, don't worry. We really wanted a candle, but obviously again that is a fire hazard. So, if you have a tin in your room back home, then you're not able to bring them up here, sadly.
Winn: Smells are pervasive in a place of living. So, you can ... Since candles aren't allowed, you can do things like bring an essential oil diffuser or like a Glade plugin, something like that. Those little spritzers that go off every so often that can put up with batteries are a good option as well.
Heather: And if you're like me and you absolutely love waffles, you can't make ... you can't bring a waffle maker (laughing).
Heather: I absolutely ... There is a Waffle House very close. So if you want to make that walk over there, or that drive, but you can't bring a waffle maker into your residence hall. So, don't be like me. I didn't bring one. Don't worry. But I really, really wanted to bring one.
Hannah: Yeah. Coffee pot.
Heather: Oh, yeah.
Hannah: You know? How many watts per coffee pot is it now?
Winn: It's twelve hundred or below. Anything over that is not allowed. So, coffee pots themselves have an open heating element, which is why you aren't allowed to have them. But-
Hannah: So, you can bring the single serve Keurigs.
Winn: As long as it is the twelve hundred watt or less model. Keurig only makes one type of Keurig that's under twelve hundred watts. So, make sure that you check your product to make sure that that is with the specifications of the university. If not, Mr. Coffee, all of theirs, I believe, are under twelve hundred watts, except for the espresso ones. Whenever you buy a single serve coffee maker, see what the wattage is. As long as it's under twelve hundred, then you are A-OK to bring that to the residence hall.
Hannah: I love coffee, so I had to double check that before.
Heather: Had to check that (laughing)?
Winn: Also, if that's not your speed, then there is an option for drip coffee in Cascades where you can bring your own mug, and it's only a dollar cup. So, if you don't want to bring your single serve coffee maker because it's over that watt limit, there is an option for you on campus for cheap coffee.
Heather: There you go. All you coffee lovers.
Heather: I am not one of you guys (laughing).
Hannah: (Laughing) All right.
Winn: What else can't you bring to the residence halls?
Heather: What about smoking, guys?
Winn: Don't get me started.
Heather: I know some people have-
Hannah: No vaping. No vaping! You cannot vape in the res halls. You also can't smoke cigs -
Heather: You can't smoke.
Hannah: ... in the residence hall.
Hannah: You also-
Winn: Can't smoke weed in the residence halls. Just like-
Hannah: Yeah, that's right, Winn. No smoking weed.
Winn: ... everywhere else in North Carolina. Weed is an illegal substance. That is cannabis.
Heather: You will get in trouble with student code of conduct.
Heather: Do it.
Winn: You will. If you do decide to smoke cigarettes or vape, then please do so fifty feet away from the residence halls. There's typically a bench outside of them, and a little spot for the smokers to go to if that's something that you partake in. Alcohol is a thing at college, and on the university grounds. However, like the rest of the state of North Carolina, it is a twenty-one and up substance. If you are twenty-one and in the residence halls, you can have some as long as you keep it stored and on your side of the room for you transfer students or for the students that want to stay on campus for multiple years, but if not then it is a student conduct violation. So, please be safe, be careful, and be responsible.
Heather: Yeah. Be responsible. Be smart.
Hannah: If you're twenty-one, how much alcohol can you have?
Winn: A six pack of beer, two bottles of wine, or a fifth of liquor. Not a combination of those, just one of those.
Hannah: Cool. Okay.
Heather: I think we're also going to move on to a little bit of like safety-wise. A lot of people are going to ask, “Can anyone get into the residence hall? Is anyone able to just walk in, walk out, no problem?” Here at Appalachian everyone will be receiving a student identification card. So, when you're living within a residence hall, you're going to have to swipe that card in order to get into your residence hall. Now, that card is only going to be tied specifically to your residence hall. So, if you are going to, say, be living in Hoey Hall, your card is only going to be tied to that building. If you're living in Cannon Hall, your card is only going to be tied to that building. It is totally fine if someone will come in, but you'll just have to walk downstairs and let them in yourself to make sure they can get in because, again, that is just for safety reasons. We want to look out for all of the students that are here on campus and just make sure you guys are safe.
Winn: Also, if you decide to live in an all-female hall, then you have to make sure that any male student or visitor that is with you is escorted at all times. And we only have two all-female halls on campus right now, which are White-
Hannah: And Eggers.
Winn: ... and Eggers. However, there's also the APH, which is a little bit off campus, but that is an upperclassmen building.
Heather: Yeah. We should also touch on visiting hours. Did you guys have visitors come and stay with you guys in your residence hall? Is there visiting hours where they can stay a certain amount of time? Stuff like that.
Winn: It really comes down to your roommate. The max amount of time you can have a single person spend the night is ten times during the semester, and no more than two or three consecutive nights. Otherwise, they're considered a codependent or they're living there, which they're not paying for the housing. That's not particularly fair to your roommate because it's their space as well. So, you want to make sure that you're respectful of that. And that's another thing. To lay down the ground rules at the beginning of the time is to make sure that you understand the visiting policy with your roommate. When are they comfortable with people being over? If it's only the weekends, so it's not on a school night. If it's only when they're not going to be in the halls, say if they're going home for the weekend, you're more than welcome to have a guest. That's something to talk with your roommate about.
Hannah: Yeah. That's a good point.
Heather: As well as with coming in, some universities, they require you to check in your visitor and then check in when they leave or whatever, go back home. So, with our university we don't do that. It's more of, again, responsibility of you and your roommate as well as if they're gonna be staying within your room for the night. So, there isn't a check-in time and a check-out time. It's just kind of, again, being responsible, making sure they're with you. And also you have to be responsible for their actions as well while they're on our campus.
Winn: Going back to some more safety things. The access to the buildings is restricted with your student ID, or your App card is what we call it here. But during the evenings and afternoons, resident assistants are on duty. They'll be on call for any sort of emergency that you have, whether that be security related or roommate related. Also during the evening, after the hours of eleven all the way up to two-thirty, there is a night assistant at the desk in the front lobby, and they have the RA's number. They do rounds every hour to make sure that there is no one in the building that isn't supposed to be. If there are any noise complaints or violations, the RAs and the night assistants are there for your safety and for your comfort. They're not a police force.
Winn: However, we do have a dedicated police force on campus, ASUPD. And we're the only university, public university, in the state of North Carolina, with a dedicated police department. They do a fantastic job keeping security on campus, being the first line for the RAs to call. They work directly with the Office of Student Conduct. So, they're a really great resource as well.
Hannah: These are all good safety tips. But kind of transitioning, how did you guys feel about access to transportation when living on campus?
Heather: As a freshman, when I came up, I did not have a car. My car went to my younger sister who was still in high school. So, for all of you guys who have siblings, you guys will understand about that. So, I came up here to college. I did not have a car. At first, I was very concerned because I was like, “Everyone here is going to have a car. Everyone's going to get to drive to the parkway,” or, "How am I going to get to Wal-Mart if I need to get stuff?” So, those were questions that were running through my mind at first when I came. But when I got here obviously and started becoming a student and realizing that there are ways for me to transport around, and obviously making friends that do have cars.
Heather: So, for me a big plug was the AppalCART that we have here on campus. It does run on campus as well as off campus. So, there's different bus routes that you can take that'll pick you up, even directly sometimes in front of the residence halls in specific spots. There are going to be bus stops. And you can hop on those, and there'll be different routes, again like I said, that'll take you different places. Particularly the red route will take you to Wal-Mart. If you need to go to Wal-Mart, take that red route. Learned that after I got stranded at a bus stop. Didn't know where to go. But you ... It's a learning process. It's super cool because it is a public transportation as well.
Heather: So, the community of Boone is able to use it alongside students here at App State. So, that definitely also was a learning thing, realizing this is a community transport. And I had never used a bus system back home, so this was completely new to me. But again, obviously do that trial run, get on that bus. Give it a chance. Sit on there a few times, learn the bus routes, and yeah. It's definitely what I use for getting around, as well as my friends' cars.
Winn: The best way to learn those bus routes is to download NextBus. It's available both on Google Play and the Apple store. You just download that, and then you select Boone as the city, which the bus is in. And it will show you all the routes the times, and they go places. I remember when I first got on the bus, I did not realize that it was for the community of Boone. I thought it was only students. So, it just took me a little moment to realize, “Oh, yeah. This is for the community. This is a Boone thing. But it's also student thing.” Hannah, do you have any memories from the AppalCART?
Hannah: Yeah, well when I was a first year, I actually did bring my car to campus. I parked in an off campus location near Stick Boy. That way I had easy access from Cannon. But I learned that I didn't use my car nearly as much as I thought just because sometimes it can be more of a hassle. It can be an easier access just to hop on the bus to go to Wal-Mart where if, you know ... A lot of first years will park at the one 'o' five lot, and they'll have to take the AppalCART to go to their car to then go to Wal-Mart. You know. So, it's just kind of more of a hassle if you were to just get on the bus and go.
Hannah: But yeah, I do have a funny story about the AppalCART. First time I ever got on the AppalCART, I was just sitting there trying to learn the routes, and I'm sitting there. I'm like, “Wow. How do I get off this thing?” I'm like, “How in the world do I get off this thing?” Like, “How are they going to know where I need to get off?” I'm like ... So, I tap this friendly looking girl beside me. I'm like, “Excuse me. How do I get off this thing?” She's like, “Literally pull the yellow cord. That's all you've got to do.” I'm like, “Phew. Okay. Thank goodness. Thought I was stuck on this for the rest of my life.”
Hannah: So, that's my funny story. Didn't know how to get off the AppalCART first time I ever used it. Just pull the yellow cord and stop at the next stop (laughing). You'll be able to get off safely.
Winn: The AppalCART does stop in the evenings, and there is another way to get around campus safely, and that is Safe Ride. Safe Ride is a university-run, student-driven van system which runs on two on campus locations only. So, if you need to get across campus from a friend's residence hall or from the library, from the dining hall, call Safe Ride, and they are the ones that can pick you up.
Winn: Their number is on the App State website.
Heather: Yeah. And that's definitely something to take advantage of as students, even just weather-wise is a big thing obviously. Where we live it could be monsoon-ing one time, and the next would be a blizzard.
Heather: So, there's definitely conditions as well that you can definitely take advantage of Safe Ride. And again, when I mention it is student-run. So, even if you're interested in driving a van around with students, that's a student employment option as well.
Hannah: Yeah, so ...
Winn: And I know that one of you mentioned the Waffle House as well.
Hannah: That was me with the waffles (laughing).
Winn: A pro tip for all of you people that want that late breakfast option. You can ride the Safe Ride all the way to the APH, the Appalachian Panhellenic Hall, which is right next to the Waffle House. It's less than a block of a walk from the APH there. So, ride there, walk to Waffle House a little bit, walk back to the APH, hop back on the Safe Ride, and get back to your residence hall. I did that so many times. The people that drove the buses knew me by name.
Heather: (Laughing) And if you don't get breakfast at Waffle House, get breakfast somewhere (in unison).
Winn: Please. Please eat breakfast. You can get them in the residence halls if you bring some oatmeal or some cereal. You can eat them in the dining halls.
Heather: That's something to say. There are vending machines within the residence halls.
Winn: With Pop-Tarts.
Winn: And honey buns.
Heather: There are.
Hannah: Cheez-Its are there. Cheez-Its. That's my thing.
Winn: You can use your App card and meal plan money-
Hannah: Waffles and Cheez-Its (laughing).
Winn: ... in those vending machines. The Starbucks is expensive in the vending machines. I will caution you. One of my roommates ran out of meal plan money because they would get-
Winn: ... a Starbucks Frappe every day from the vending machine.
Winn: Rookie mistake. Please don't make it (laughing).
Heather: Well, if you guys had any last piece of advice regarding residence hall, what it would be?
Winn: Keep an open mind. There's going to be people coming from all sorts of backgrounds that you might not be familiar with. Talk to people, get to know them. College is about learning how to adjust and learning how to communicate and work with those people because you might be beside them in the workplace one day, and this is a great way to get a headstart on that.
Heather: Yeah. You know, coming in this is going to be your experience. Everything that we're telling you, you're going to be able to make your own memories, your own experiences within the residence hall and really, really make it yours. To me, my third floor of Hoey is so special to me. I had the greatest experience living in a residence hall, and I definitely would do it again if I had the chance to go over and do it again. But just allow it really to surprise you. You know? Give it your all. Go in there, like Winn had said, with that open mind, and just be open to it. Allow it really to be special.
Heather: Because to me, walking in super nervous, didn't know a single person on the floor, at the end of the year, I mean it just totally surprised me how close we were and how I had honestly gained lifelong friends. And for me that will always be something special and that I'll hold close to my heart that that was a residence hall that could do that. That was hanging out in the lobby every single day, and those shenanigans, running down to each other, just that hall culture that is able to be created. So, really enjoy it. Don't let that time pass you by. Don't take it for granted. You know? Really enjoy that time. So, that, I know, a little cheesy, but ...
Hannah: No, I loved it.
Winn: What's your takeaway from living in the residence halls?
Hannah: Kind of bouncing off both of you, use it as a learning curve. I grew so much as an individual my freshman year. And like you said, take advantage of the people you're around and meeting new people and new friends. And bouncing off of those friends, “Oh, what are you interested in? Maybe I can get out of my comfort zone to come to something that you're a part of now.” But to just keep an open mind and also, you know this is important too, if you're not loving residence hall, that is okay too. It's a different experience for everyone. And know your resources if you need to, if you're not having the best time. But be open minded and allow yourself to grow as a better person from it. You're going to take away something from your time as a residence hall, so make it the best that you can.
Winn: We want to thank you so much for listening to the AppX podcast. If you have any more questions about housing, you can check out housing.appstate.edu or search in the App State search bar on App State's official webpage for anything like parking, safety, any questions you have. They are sure to be answered there. Thank you so much again for listening to the AppX podcast. I'm Winn Williams.
Hannah: Hannah Bean.
Heather: And Heather Inman.
Winn: Have a great day.
What do you think?
Share your feedback on this story.
About Appalachian State University
As the premier public undergraduate institution in the state of North Carolina, Appalachian State University prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The Appalachian Experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and to embrace diversity and difference. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Appalachian is one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System. Appalachian enrolls more than 19,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.